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Delicious Recipes to Combat Congestive Heart Failure and Dangerous Hypertension DONALD A. GAZZANIGA. St. Martin's/Thomas Dunne, $24.95 (416p) ISBN 0-312-25252-8

Even though it's a cookbook, this work reads like high drama: Gazzaniga suffered from heart failure, a condition that can in some cases necessitate a heart transplant; but because he successfully controlled his salt and sodium intake, he has restored his health. Gazzaniga realized that he'd first have to adapt his tastes and cravings to new flavors and textures. Cream, soy sauce, ketchup and commercial breads were just a few things that had to be eliminated, but as he avers, "All is not lost." Gazzaniga bakes all his own breads with a lowest-sodium baking powder, buys no-salt canned goods from the health -food store and has even found an acceptable no-salt ketchup. It may take some extra planning and shopping, but, he promises, readers will find his wide -ranging recipes (Chicken' in Almond Sauce, Scampi in Wine, Snake River Carrot Salad, and Way Good Oatmeal Cookies) more than worth it. With per-sonal flourishes and encouragement and detailed sodium-content information, Gazzaniga dishes up a cookbook that's much more creative and satisfying than its dry, even didactic, title may lead one to believe. (Jan.12)